History buffs call for missing dates

By <b>Ian Dipple Friday 17 January 2014 Updated: 17/01 09:52

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Buy photos » We know Redditch had a Megabowl in Greenlands, but what year did it open, when did it close and when was it turned into housing? (s).

AN APPEAL is being made to Standard readers to help local historians piece together key dates in Redditch’s history which have been lost in time.

As part of this year’s 50th anniversary celebrations of new town designation, Redditch Local History Society is staging a three week exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum in March, demonstrating the change and growth Redditch has undergone over the last 50 years to become the town it is today.

But while the years between 1964 and 1985 are well documented, local historians are finding trying to document significant events over the last 30 years more difficult.

Derek Coombes, from Redditch Local History Society, said potentially the problem was because people thought of history as the Battle of Hastings or the reign of Queen Victoria, key events in the town’s history have not been officially recorded.

“For many people like myself who moved to Redditch in 1986, or were born here since the mid-seventies, the modern Redditch has been the normal background to our life. Events happen, they get reported in the news but often soon forgotten,” he said.

“It’s therefore now difficult to pinpoint the defining moments of the last 30 years. For example, the Megabowl in Greenlands has come and gone in that period, but when? What was the furniture store on the site before it? Sainsbury’s are now looking to expand but when did it move from the Town Centre to its current site?”

So far the group has identified 80 key events they believe merit documenting for future generations but are struggling to find an exact date for some of them, while they believe there will be others they have missed.

“So our challenge to Redditch residents is to help us define the last 30 years of Redditch history,” Mr Coombes added.

“What events have shaped the town, what anniversaries have we celebrated? And what will the Redditch residents of 2064 be displaying in their 100th anniversary of Redditch New Town exhibition?”

Anyone with any information should email history@so-redditch.info or call 01527 404365 or visit www.SO-Redditch.info for more on the anniversary celebrations.

The list of key events

Date Event

1985 New town development contract – RDC transfers to the New Towns Commission

1986 Building/Opening District General Hospital (The Alexandra Hospital)

1991 Clews Road Business Park Built

1991 Forge Mill Visitors Centre opened

1992 1992 - 200? New College Developments

1999 Housing Estate on the Old Sandfords Store in Greenlands Built

1999 Major Fire at NEW College Redditch

1999 Last Carnival Parade to be held

1999 Bordesley Abbey Excavations

1999 Cinema in Prospect Hill Closes – Chicago Rock Cafe Opens

2000 Moons Moat Offices & Fast Food Developments

2000 High Duty Alloys taken over by Mettis Aerospace

2001 Fire at Tesco’s in Oakenshaw

2002 Development of the Alcad Batteries Site – Housing

2002 Matalan opens in old B&Q Store

2002 New College Development

2002 Kingfisher Development – Closure of Royal Square & building of Debenhams.

2003 Hardings Coach Company closes its Evesham Road, Crabbs Cross Garage

2004 Palace Theatre Refurbishment

2004 Star & Garter in Crabbs Cross Demolished and Flats Built

2004 New town development contract -Shopping Centre modified and extended 2004 - 2007

2004 New town development contract -Transport Interchange V4 2004 - 2006

2004 New town development contract -Palace Theatre Refurbishment 2004 - 2005

2006 Phase 4 Bus Station and Kingfisher Centre re-development

2006 Apollo Cinema comes to Redditch

2008 The last fair to be held in the town centre

2012 Abbey Stadium Expansion including New Swimming Pool

2012 Olympic Torch travels Through Redditch

2012 Humphries Shoe Shop Celebrates 150 years in Redditch

2013 Church Hill Centre Redevelopment

2013 Sainsbury’s Petrol Station Moves

2013 Hewell Road Swimming Baths Closed

2013 Smallwood Health Centre Demolished

2013 New Hotel - Premier Inn

19?? New Housing Build on Former Goods Yard

19?? New Station Ticket Office Built

19?? Out of Town Supermarkets Sainsbury’s moves to Abbey Retail Park

19?? Out of Town Supermarkets Safeways becomes Morrisons

19?? Out of Town Supermarkets Tescos moves to Oakenshaw

19?? Serious Fire at Tescos during expansion

19?? New Hotel - Holiday Inn Express

19?? New Hotel - Travellodge

19?? Abbey Retail Park Built

19?? B&Q Opens

19?? B&Q Redeveloped as “Warehouse” store and Matalan takes over old site

19?? Sandford DIY Store In Greenlands Closes

19?? Abbey Stadium Expansion

19?? Megabowl Opens in Greenlands

19?? Palm Trees Removed from the Kingfisher Centre

199? Commencement of the Brockhill Estates

199? Trafford Park Retail Park Development

199? KFC Comes to Town – Trafford Park

199? McDonald’s Drive Through come to Moons Moat

199? Education Revisions including closure of schools (Dingleside and Bridley Moor)

199? Alcester Street Developments – Building on the open car park

199? Housing in Oakenshaw South completed

199? Housing Estates in Coldfield Drive Built

199? Woodrow Estate Refurbishment

199? Megabowl Closes in Greenlands

199? Housing Estate on the Old Megabowl site in Greenlands Built

2003 Matchborough First School formed from merger of Claybrook & Moon Moat Schools

1991? McDonald’s Drive Through come to Oakenshaw

2??? Building of New Central Mosque started

20?? Primark come to Kingfisher Centre

200? Megabowl closes in Greenlands

200? Redditch Market Returns to its historic site in Church Green

200? Garage (Jaffa Motors) in Crabbs Cross Closes and Houses built.

200?? Staples/Lidl Retail Park development

200?? Building of Apollo Electrical Store Grove Street

2001? Arrow Valley Vistors Centre Opens

2012? Phase II Brockhill Estates started

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